KUANTAN: There is an urgent need for a direct emergency line “999”(Malaysian Emergency and Rescue Services-MERS-999) for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) to have a quick response and act on the illegals activities or any related emergency incidents on sea.
East Region Maritime enforcement chief First Admiral Nasir Adam said the “999” dial up should also connect to the APMM’s office as there were many cases of late response from the office after receiving late calls and complaints from the fishermen and other members of public.
Nasir said recently there was a tip-off from fishermen on 20 Vietnamese boats entering Malaysian waters which threatened the local fishermen’s catches.
However, he said, because of the late information received, the APMM’s efforts in sending a team to check on the incident failed as it was too late.
“When we reached the location as reported, there were no such activities and we received complaints that we were too late to arrive.
“In our initial investigation we have found out that the complaints were made a day after the fisherman spotted the Vietnamese fishing boats, perhaps because of the poor communication system,’’ Nasir said after presenting prizes in a shooting competition between Pahang Media Club, Terengganu Journalists Club, APMM and the Government departments, held in its training centre in Gebeng recently.
Also present was APMM’s East Region head Kapten Maritim Syd Mohd Fuzi Syd Hassan.
Nasir said currently, the system of comunications runs from the fisherman to the Fisheries department and to the APMM’s office.
“Through this system, we are the third receiver, not directly the second respondent.
“By the time we receive reports , it would be likely that the illegal activities or any other emergency cases could be over and it will be too late for us to take any action,’’ he said.
Nasir said the process of having the MERS 999 is on going but it needed to be speeded up for better communication between both the fishermen or members of public and the APMM.
Meanwhile, Syd Mohd Fuzi said until early October this year, the APMM has received 106 reports on illegal activites at sea and the involvement of foreign fishermen.
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